It’s that time of year when we resolve to accomplish a list of goals for the coming year. Unfortunately, most people make unrealistic resolutions. To avoid this, here are five realistic expectations that every man (and woman) can do to help make 2019 more enjoyable, safe and — most importantly — fun.

  1. Be kind to someone that needs it.  People never fail to underestimate the value of kindness. In most cases it takes far more time, energy, strength of character and patience to be kind than it does to be otherwise. Showing kindness to someone is a worthy cause. Granted, not everyone is worthy of that kindness, but I would be willing to bet you are already thinking of someone you know that the people around you are not very nice to. Take some time to talk to them or show them more civility than they normally receive from the people around you.
  2. Stand up for something. Choose something to take a stand on and plant your feet and refuse to move. Dedicate a portion of your time, energy and talents to solve it. No matter how much or little you throw at the cause, if the cause is worthy, you will get more back in return. Speak up and be heard.
  3. Learn a new skill. Learning a new skill is an often overlooked thing, but many of us could substantially enrich our lives by learning some basic DIY skills. Learn something useful that you can pass on. Learn to hunt, fish, golf or shoot. Do you know the proper way to fell a tree? I do. Can you pick a lock? Are you able to prepare a gourmet meal for someone? Can you provide emergency medical aid to someone that has been injured? Can you change your tire if it’s flat, or how about your brakes? If you were lost in the woods would you know how to start a fire or navigate by the stars?
  4. Get into some trouble. I know it sounds odd, but it’s actually a really good practice to be in the habit of. In this life we are told where to stand, how to walk and what to say. It is very, very easy to get in the habit of conformity as a form of social entropy. It just takes less energy not to stand out. Don’t allow it. Question authority. Make up your own mind. Stand out. Do your own thing, and if it gets you into a little trouble along the way, learn to accept responsibility for your actions.
  5. Find passion. No, I don’t mean romantic love. Find something to be passionate about. Maybe it is a relationship or your job or a new hobby. Whatever it is, make space for it in your life and passion will fill more than just that void. Remember above all that life, education, mercy, faith, happiness and passion are all choices. Boredom, unhappiness, depression, cruelty, apathy and disloyalty are choices also. Usually those are choices we make when we don’t even realize we are being tested. So be careful. Choose wisely.

Goodbye, 2018…

Here’s to a safe, happy and prosperous 2019.